So this is what we’ve been reduced to, apparently. So starved for some good news on the acquisition front are we fans, that more than a few of us got excited at the prospect of acquiring a 31-year-old journeyman outfielder. Another right-hander hitter, I might add, so friendlier fences in right and right-center would do him no good. And then, he turned down some rare Wilponic gold for greener pastures – and walls – in Boston. I was surprised to find myself disappointed.
This is Cody Ross, we’re talking about, not Willie Mays. Not even Cleon Jones. This is the definition of a “journeyman outfielder.” According to Baseball-Reference.com, his nearest historically comparable players are Kevin Mench, Walt Moryn, Ryan Ludwick, Jason Kubel and Craig Monroe. He has a career OPS+ of 105 and an eight-season bWAR of 10.1. To your intrepid columnist, this screams mediocrity. If we want to be complimentary, we’d call Ross “steady.” Would he be a valuable bench piece on a championship team? Of course; in fact, he has been, coming out of the wings to deliver some big hits for the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants, even winning the NLCS MVP. Would he be a valuable starter on a lousy team like the Mets? No way. That’s why the Marlins let him walk to the Giants on waivers in ’10 to begin with. And he spurned us.
I don’t envy Sandy Alderson’s job at the moment, hamstrung by tight purse-strings from above and hammered by sarcasm and snark from the MSM and bleating from the fan base, myself included. If he can pull off a move or two and coax this bunch of culls and castoffs to over 80 wins, he will be more of a miracle worker than even I – one of Alderson’s staunchest supporters – figured.
I wouldn’t bank on it, though.